Switzerland: Bernese Alps Hiking Tour
Seven nights; seven days of moderate to challenging hiking in the highlands of Switzerland. Travel by foot through hidden valleys, alpine lakes and flora, Swiss pines, and of course, edelweiss!
“The staff at Freewheeling was very helpful in all aspects of planning our trip… A pleasure to deal with.” – Bill K.
WHY THIS TRIP?
- Alpine meadows in full bloom.
- Swiss chocolate!
- Hidden gems accessible only by foot.
- Famous Matterhorn and Eiger trails.
- Scenic train rides.
- Varied terrain with gorgeous panoramic views: green valleys, emerald lakes, rock formations, wildflowers, and mountain peaks.
- A chance to re-enact your favourite scenes from The Sound of Music.
- Vibrant city of Zürich – Known for its global financial importance, and consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world. Its pre-medieval history, waterfront promenades, and countless museums, galleries, and theatres.
- Charming villages and sophisticated infrastructure.
Hikes are moderate to challenging, with inclines up to 1600 meters and elevation up to 2923 meters; shorter hikes with less climbing are possible by using cable cars and mountain trains. Most trails are groomed gravel pathways. Hiking boots with ankle support are recommended; hiking poles will be an asset. Transfers are by train, cable car, and van.
- DAY 1: Introductions, ~3 km
- DAY 2: ~6 km
- DAY 3: Up to ~14 km
- DAY 4: ~10 km/li>
- DAY 5: ~14 km
- DAY 6: Up to ~17 km
- DAY 7: ~10 km & Farewells
Start: Zurich, Hauptbahnhof Train Station (tourist information center), 08:30, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Finish: Zurich, following breakfast on day eight.
Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Zurich to Interlaken by train; hike Breitlauenen to Schynige Platte 3km; ascent 400m
Morning meeting at Zurich’s train station where you’ll embark on a two-hour train ride to Interlaken. Nestled between the emerald Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, Interlaken marks the beginning of the Bernese Highlands. After lunch at Harderkulm you’ll board the mountain train to Breitlaunen, taking in the majestic views of the surrounding Alps. Continue by foot across the wide expanse of Alp Bigelti. Enjoy the views of Lake Brienz and the Bödeli, a plain between Lakes Thun and Brienz, before reaching your destination, Schynige Platte. Consider a visit to the Alpine Botanical Garden, Alpine Botanical Garden with 500 varieties of Alpine flowers near your mountain hotel almost 2000m above sea level. LD
Please note that your accommodations for the first night include shared bathrooms; we hope you will agree that the majestic mountain-top beauty of the location compensates. Private facilities are provided for the remainder of the tour.
Hotel Schynige Platte, Schynige Platte
Schynige Platte to Männdlenen, Faulhorn, and First 16km; ascent 800m, descent 700m; cable car to Grindelwald
Today’s hike between Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald takes you through a diverse landscape, offering breath-taking views of the Bernese Alps, pristine mountain lakes, fragrant meadows, and dramatic rock formations. After an independent lunch at Faulhorn (site of the oldest mountain hotel in Europe), continue to First where optional activities, such as ziplining and mountain carts, may be enjoyed. A 25-minute cable car transfer brings you to the historic tourist village of Grindelwald, the base from which alpinists make their attempts at the North Face of the Eiger. BD
Hotel Grindelwalderhof , or Derby Hotel, Grindelwald
The Eiger Trail from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg, up to 14km; ascent up to 1600m, descent 500m; shorter options available
Starting from Grindelwald you will walk through the alpine forest into the midst of the famous mountain peaks: Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau (the Ogre, the Monk, and the Maiden). This morning route includes a significant elevation gain and more relaxed walkers may opt to travel by mountain train from Grindelwald to Alpiglen where you can descent to Kleine Scheidegg by foot. Early arrivals at Kleine Scheidegg will allow time for an optional visit to the impressive Sphinx Observatory at Jungfraujoch, also known as the Top of Europe. BL
Hotel Bellevue des Alpes, Kleine Scheidegg
Hike Kleine Scheidegg to Männlichen and down to Wengen 10km; ascent 200m, descent 1000m; train to Zermatt
Relish the gorgeous Jungfrau massif views as you walk along the trail from Kleine Scheidegg to Männlichen. The path leads through grasslands where hundreds of alpine flowers bloom in summer. Marvel at the startlingly different terrain of Männlichen: one side of the mountain is covered with grassy slopes, while the other is comprised of craggy cliffs dropping into the valley. After a steep downhill section into Wengen you’ll be transfer to Tasch where you’ll board the train for the quick journey to Zermatt where you’ll spend the next three nights. BLD
Backstage Boutique Spa Hotel, Zermatt
Hike Seenweg Trail 9 km, and Flower Trail 4.5 km; ascent 720m, descent 720m
This morning’s hike journeys past the lakes of the Stellisee, Grindjisee, Grünsee, Moosjisee, and Leisee, each with their own unique colorings and characteristics. Enjoy a picnic lunch while contemplating the stillness and peace of these alpine meadows. Presumably, the only question in your mind in this tranquil place will be, why does the edelweiss have fleecy hairs? BL
The Matterhorn Glacier Trail 6.5km, and Matterhorn Trail 10km; ascent 300m, descent 1630m
Following a short cable car ride today’s trail leads you over what was once a river of ice. If you pause to close your eyes and lift your head, you may be lucky enough to feel a gentle cool breeze brush your face. This is known as a glacial kiss. Excluding the optional visit to Jungfraujoch, today’s hike will bring you to the highest point of the adventure at 2923m above sea level. Discover how the Matterhorn was made by giants from Valtournenche, or so the natives will tell you; carved wooden sculptures may be seen, beautifully depicting such folk tales, legends, and stories of the culture. BLD
Bettmerhorn to Fiescheralp 9.5km; ascent 100m, descent 625m; transfer to Zurich
A very full day requires an early start, first traveling by train from Zermatt to Tasch then by van to Betten where you’ll climb to Bettmerhorn by cable car. The Great Aletsch Glacier, the largest of the Alps, serves as the magnificent backdrop for most of today’s hike. The trail of natural stone steps leads you down to Fiescheralp. Descend to Fiesch by cable car where you’ll be for an early evening arrival at your hotel in Zurich, to savour the final night of your Bernese journey. BL
Boutique Hotel Wellenberg, or Central Plaza Hotel, Zürich
Your tour concludes following breakfast. B
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
- Jul 2-9
- Sep 3-10
- Jul 7-14
- Sep 1-8
Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.
Guided: C 5175 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 7 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners, luggage handling, ground transportation (including trains and cable cars), guide support, maps, taxes
Small groups or private tours, fully supported with drivers/guides and vehicles, all lodging and most meals included. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Self-Guided: C 4275 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 7 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, ground transportation (including trains and cable cars) inn to inn luggage transfers, maps, taxes
Semi-supported, independent tours including welcome briefing, lodging, luggage transfers and necessary vehicle transfers. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Single Occupancy: 1195
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.
1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.
2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, this usually comes at a surcharge depending on the details, please get in touch for more information. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.
Located in the western part of Switzerland, the Bernese Alps are well-known to hikers and climbers. Charming villages and sophisticated infrastructure make this region logistically manageable for everyday explorers. Peaks well over 4000 meters above sea level provide a magnificent panorama, set against green valleys and alpine meadows along gravel trails. Expect daily train, van, and cable car transport.
Your tour begins and ends with transfers from and to Zürich. Known for its global financial importance, Zürich consistently ranks as one of the most livable cities in the world. Its pre-medieval history, waterfront promenades, and countless museums, galleries, and theatres warrant extra time. We recommend allowing an extra day or two before or after your tour to explore the vibrant metropolis; please let us know if you would like us to arrange reservations on your behalf.